John 10:1-10 –The sheep follow the Shepherd to life eternal. In next week’s Gospel lesson Verses 7 and 9 teach that Jesus is the door to life and salvation. He is not one of a series of doors to God. In today’s world, the emphasis is upon pluralism — one religion being as valid as the next one. Christianity is considered one of many ways to God. This passage contradicts pluralism. The door to life, to God, to salvation, is Jesus. Is this not the basis for evangelism and missions to non- Christian people? It is not done in the interests of building up a monolithic religious organization in the hope of getting a monopoly, but of sharing good news of salvation through Christ. Jesus says in verse 10 that he came to bring abundant life to all people. What is life? Our existence only makes sense when Jesus is at the center.
In His resurrection He gathers us to Himself as our Good Shepherd, by whose righteousness we “have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Now through other shepherds whom He calls and sends in His name, He guards and keeps us in the green pastures of His Church, leading us beside the quiet waters of our Baptism and spreading the feast of His Table before us.
Since He has called us by the Gospel to be His own dear sheep, we also “hear his voice” and “know his voice” (John 10:3–4) in the faithful preaching of His Gospel, and we follow Him by faith. When we receive His Gospel, we have the abundant life and common unity of the entire flock under one Good Shepherd, Jesus our Savior.
Collect for St. Philip & James (May 1): Almighty Good, Your Son revealed Himself to Philip and James and gave them knowledge of everlasting life. Grant us perfectly to know Your Son, Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth and the life, and steadfastly to walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Comic strip for Easter 4 John 10:22-30, copyright © 4.25.2007 James Weststein Agnus Dei Press
- Collect for St. Philip and James, Lutheran Service Book copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis